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Someone over at the other place is saying

Charlie Aitken has just reiterated his eleven dollar price target for msb saying the Valeant situation has been completely misinterpreted


I got in yesterday arvo after the announcement at about $7. Was initially a trade, but think I might just keep them for the long term.


All my biotechs going gangbusters today (PXS, CSL, PRR, SPL and even SLA). :biggrin:

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Has to be good. STEM is where the old STC ended up.




The federal government can pay for research using human embryonic stem cells, an appeals court ruled today. A Washington DC district judge had issues an injunction halting the funding in 2010.


The appeals court ruled 2-1 that the NIH reasonably concluded that a 1996 law restricting funding for research where an embryo is destroyed does not prohibit stem cell research. The Obama administration reversed a Bush administration ban on federal funding for new stem cell research.


StemCells (STEM), which is developing treatments for liver and central nervous system ailments using stem cells, jumped 11% to 84 cents per share on Friday.



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Today's Fin Rev:




The founder of a biotech company that has broken new ground in regenerative medicine sees partnerships as important to growth, writes Khia Mercer.


When Mesoblast founder and chief executive Silviu Itescu floated the stem cell company in 2004, raising $21 million, few expected that just over six years later it would have a market capitalisation larger than David Jones.


The meteoric rise of Mesoblast has resulted in its market capitalisation ballooning to almost $2.6 billion - David Jones is capped at $2.3 billion - but Itescu isn't letting the spotlight distract him from furthering the company's adult stem cell research programs.


He is hoping things will settle down now that Israel's Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has made a $US6.8 billion ($6.35 billion) takeover offer for the United States based pharmaceutical company Cephalon, which has a 19.9 per cent stake in Mesoblast.


"We see Mesoblast as being the world leader in regenerative medicine," Itescu told The Australian Financial Review.


"By having a major partner who is prepared to back the applications with cash gives us the strength to grow."


Last week, Teva outbid Toronto based Valeant, which lobbed a $US73-a-share hostile offer for Cephalon in March. The offer followed several attempts to engage with the Cephalon board that fell on deaf ears.


Mesoblast quickly moved to ease investor concerns over the uncertainty sparked by the Valeant bid, which had its shares under pressure.


"We thought when we did the partnership with Cephalon that things gave us a bit more clarity and certainty," Itescu says. "In the last six or seven weeks, the approach from Valeant threw us in a bit of disarray. I'm delighted by the outcome - it puts us right back in a stable relationship."


Following its merger with Angioblast Systems last year, Mesoblast's pipeline has been extended from orthopedics, including spinal fusion and osteoarthritis, to products for treating congestive heart failure, cardiac arrest, eye disease, diabetes and bone marrow problems. Teva and Cephalon say they see potential in a therapy for congestive heart failure under development with Mesoblast.


The biotech sector has flown under the radar in recent years, but corporate activity has increased as big pharmaceutical companies try to build compound portfolios before various drugs come off patent from 2012.


Mesoblast shares have doubled in value so far this year, and are up nearly 450 per cent from a 12 month low of $1.72 reached in mid June last year.


"I think a large driver of activity for the large pharmas is that there is a dearth of pipeline drugs for them," Itescu says. "Traditionally, the R & D (research and development) expenditures have not rewarded pharmas very well, so what many of the pharmas have now decided to do is shut down internal R & D and look to spend their dollars much more on external partnerships, and looking for biotech companies to do their R & D for them."


Pfizer's blockbuster cholesterol treatment Lipitor loses patent protection in November, AstraZeneca's patent on cholesterol drug Crestor is set to expire in 2012, and Merck's asthma drug Singulair goes off-patent in 2012 - to name a few.


"Traditionally, pharmas companies have spent up to 15 per cent of revenue on internal R & D, and a lot of that money is being coverted to commercial transactions, Itescu says.


He likens the company's partnership with Cephalon to that of Roche and pioneering biotechnology company Genentech. In the mid 1990s. Roche took a 19.9 per cent stake in Genentech and was a partner in developing some leading products.


Ten years later, Roche launched a $US95 a share takeover bid, valuing the acquisition at $US46.8 billion.


"Genentech remains the global leader in its field, the Roche/Genentech relationship is where we see Mesoblast going," Itescu says.


Itescu says Mesoblast's platform technology means it can develop a range of treatments. The company has late-stage, mid-stage and early-stage programs. "If any come to fruition and generate revenues, then yes, then sure, we could be as big as companies like CSL," he says. "Effectively, by taking a platform technology and moving it through multiple areas, you're developing a multi-drug company."


Mesoblast's bone marrow transplant cell expansion trial is due to start phase III studies this year, and it is expected to start a heart attack trial in Europe and the US in the near future.


"CSL, Cochlear and ResMed are all successful companies. You're now seeing the next generation of companies come to fruition. It's the culmination of a 10 - year process," Itescu says. Mesoblast has about $280 million to fund clinical and development needs

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Major Points

? New composition of matter patent claims granted in United States

including new products for neural regeneration, dental applications, and cosmetic surgery

? Mesoblast continues to strengthen exclusive commercial ownership of proprietary

stem cell platform

Melbourne, Australia;; 24 May 2011: Australian regenerative medicine company, Mesoblast

Limited (ASX:MSB;; OTC ADR: MBLTY), today announced that

strategy has been significantly strengthened by novel composition of matter claims granted by the

United States Patent and Trade Mark Office (USPTO) in two distinct patent families to which

Mesoblast has exclusive worldwide commercial rights.


proprietary Mesenchymal Precursor Cell (MPCs) technology platform, these new US patents

7,052,907 and 7,947,266 give Mesoblast exclusive ownership over MPCs derived from a variety of

sources, including dental pulp and adipose tissue (fat), in addition to bone marrow.

The MPCs derived from dental pulp may be particularly effective for the treatment and prevention

of neural degenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer, as well as for

dental applications such as regenerating teeth. Adipose-ÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒÂ¢Ãƒ¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡ÃƒÆ’â€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚­derived MPCs may have particular benefits

for reconstructive surgery and cosmetic indications.

The new granted US patents extend Mesoblasts through to 2025, and ensure

that during this period only Mesoblast can commercialize MPC products in the United States, the


Beyond that period, under the United States Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act enacted in


biologic products in the United States.

Mesoblast Chief Executive, Professor Silviu Itescu, said the new patents are major assets that

confer certainty, broaden the range of product offerings by the company, and significantly increase

the commercial value of the platform technology.


Professor Itescu added.

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